People planning bonfires and firework displays this weekend are advised to put them off till Saturday to avoid coinciding with a nationwide strike by firefighters.
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s emergency response service will be severely reduced on Friday night, as Fire Brigades Union members take action from 6.30pm to 11pm.
The fire service traditionally responds to a larger number of incidents over the bonfire weekend, with many of these call outs to small fires like rubbish fires and bonfires that have got out of control.
Though contingency firefighters will be providing a basic level of cover, the county’s Chief Fire Officer wants the public the keep fire engines available for life threatening calls.
Chief Fire Officer, James Courtney, said: “Don’t hold your bonfire or fireworks display on Friday night. We’re satisfied with the contingency arrangements we are putting in place, but our 999 service will still be severely depleted so we need the public to help keep our fire engines available for real emergencies.
“Our best advice is to either attend an organised, public event or hold your display on another night, following all of our usual advice to make sure bonfires don’t get out of control and incidents are kept low.”
The top tips for staying safe this bonfire period are:
Bonfires- attend a public display instead or hold your display on another night
Fireworks- store them securely and out of reach of children and follow instructions on the box
Displays- if you do hold your own event, keep bonfires and fireworks well away from buildings, sheds and trees
A second firefighters strike takes place on Monday 4 November 6am to 8am.
The best way to stay safe is to make sure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home and test it weekly.
For more advice on keeping fires low call the safety hotline on 0114 253 2314.